Local game prototype of the week: Cadence


Hey… do you wanna settle down a bit and just… chill?

If you’ve had a tough week and this Friday is just dragging on then here’s a local game to soothe and relax you. Hit the jump, this one’s a goodie.

There is a strange difficulty to describing puzzle games. They’re often completely unique relative to anything you’ve ever played before and thus take a lot of logical thinking to solve each challenge. Cadence  is no easier to describe than usual. It’s a game  that demands utter concentration, but elicits pure tranquility, and then pits both states of mind against each other to see who wins. It may sound bizarre, but I simply can’t get enough of it.

So here’s that difficult description part: Cadence‘s puzzles require you to create a perpetual loop of sound with a given set of elements. There are several elements in the game that interact differently when the sound enters them, but even when you’ve connected the elements correctly, you still have to start the sound’s journey from the correct point to create a perpetual loop. Sounds kind of simple doesn’t it? Well no, it’s actually quite tricky, yet the idea itself is fairly simple. But that’s the point: Cadence was produced as part of a Ludum Dare game jam where the theme was “Minimalism”.  

It is certainly minimalist visually – you could almost say it’s bland. The room the game takes place in looks a lot like one of those padded cells in mental institutions. But the moment you hear Cadence, the whole experience becomes quite alluring. Each individual sound is quite lovely in itself, but the resulting melody of each puzzle’s perpetual loop is the reason you play this game over and over again.


I don’t often struggle to critique games, but Cadence has me stumped. The only criticism I could level at the game is that the padded cell room doesn’t really suit the rest of the game’s aesthetic. It’s dirty, gritty, and out of place. It could be replaced with something to suit the tranquil mood of the gameplay, perhaps. However, this critique is a bit of a stretch and the tightness of Cadence‘s design otherwise makes me want to believe it’s intentional and that Peter Cardwell-Gardner, the developer, is just a lot smarter than me. Which, frankly, is the most likely answer.

Give Cadence a play. It’ll be one of your most relaxing play experiences ever. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

MGSA forum thread

Web build (Might not be working at time of publishing, developer has been contacted about fixing it)

PC build (Older version)


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